02/18/13 — Tough choice: Air show decision really was about the mission, airmen

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Tough choice: Air show decision really was about the mission, airmen

We talk all the time around here about how much this community respects and supports the military and the men and women who serve.

So, while the news that the 2013 Wings Over Wayne Air Show has been canceled was hard to hear, the truth is that, if we really are the military-friendly town we say we are, we should respect and understand the decision.

Why? Washington.

Right now, the path seems to suggest that big cuts are coming in the nation's military budget and that personnel could face cuts and the mission could find itself underfunded as well.

So any money that could be classified as "extra" should be refunneled to the mission and the men and women who are trying to protect this nation, safely. To make any other decision would be irresponsible.

But that does not mean that it was easy for Col. Jeannie Leavitt to tell a community that has rallied around this base and its personnel so many times that there will not be an air show this year.

And it was not easy for her or her commanders to cancel an event that allows them to show people from around the region just how accomplished their airmen are and how much they do for this country.

They would have much preferred to say "thank you" and to enjoy the day with the community they have proven time and time again they consider one of the best in the country.

But that is not in the cards this year.

So, instead, perhaps there will be another chance, another idea, for the community to honor the base and its personnel -- a chance for all of us to gather in some other fashion.

But for now, we have to put the airmen and their families and the mission, first.

And in a community where that is our philosophy 365 days a year, that should not be too hard a task.

Published in Editorials on February 18, 2013 1:30 PM